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Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Snow; More Investigations?

Will there be another federal grand jury investigating possible criminal wrongdoing if last night's near-blizzard isn't cleaned up on time?

New York City sanitation workers should be on their best behavior and make sure to work straight through their shifts without stopping.   Making a run for coffee could get you hauled before a federal grand jury and even indicted. 

A federal grand jury investigation into a possible criminal conspiracy relating to alleged concerted (and alleged to somehow be illegal) work slowdowns during the cleanup of last month's post-Christmas blizzard (20 inches) has reportedly stalled

(I disagree; this could be a complex investigation and one would hope prosecutors take the time to diligently research the facts, so it should be way, way too early to reach any conclusion.  For previous Crime, Politics and Policy coverage of the 2010 blizzard criminal investigation, click here.) 

New York's Central Park reports a storm total of 19 inches, pushing the winter-to-date total to over 55 inches.  (Normal winter snowfall is about 26.9 inches.) But last night's snow was wet, heavy and gluey, making for a tougher shovel.  (Yes, the author of this blog does his own damn shoveling.)

As this chart shows, New York has already exceeded its 2009-10 snowfall, and is fast approaching the all-time record of 75.6 inches (1995-96).  In fact, excluding 1995-96, the current winter's total is higher than every other winter since 1922-23, when 60.2 inches were recorded.  Moreover, average daily temperatures have been approximately four degrees below normal for about two months.  In addition, consider that the 55 inches have fallen in a span of 32 days (since December 26, 2010).  If you feel this has been a rough winter in and around New York City, these are the facts to support you. 

As Jimmy McMillan might say:  The snow is too damn high.

Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer and strategic analyst.  Mr. Dixon has extensive election law and compliance experience, and also follows weather and climate issues.  Mr. Dixon is available for comment or consultation via e-mail at and 917-696-2442.

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